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White: Australia to ride aggressive Olympic road race

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Gerrans, O'Grady, Goss and Rogers (Evans was still out training)

Gerrans, O'Grady, Goss and Rogers (Evans was still out training)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Britain's Mark Cavendish enjoys a joke with Australian Matt Goss.

Britain's Mark Cavendish enjoys a joke with Australian Matt Goss.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Matt White and Cadel Evans talk after a training ride in Surrey, England

Matt White and Cadel Evans talk after a training ride in Surrey, England
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans

Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Matthew Goss talks with the media

Matthew Goss talks with the media
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Stuart O'Grady (Australia)

Stuart O'Grady (Australia)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Gerrans O'Grady and Goss

Gerrans O'Grady and Goss
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Simon Gerrans makes his way to the media scrum

Simon Gerrans makes his way to the media scrum
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Cadel Evans' BMC road bike

Cadel Evans' BMC road bike
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Matt Goss was not happy with silver

Matt Goss was not happy with silver
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Michael Rogers (far right) with Australian teammates prior to the elite men's road race in Copenhagen

Michael Rogers (far right) with Australian teammates prior to the elite men's road race in Copenhagen
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Aussie Stuart O'Grady happy on the start line.

Aussie Stuart O'Grady happy on the start line.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Australian Stuart O'Grady signs on for the race.

Australian Stuart O'Grady signs on for the race.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) on the podium

Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) on the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michael Rogers (Team Sky)

Michael Rogers (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) digs deep on the climb to the finish.

Cadel Evans (BMC) digs deep on the climb to the finish.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (Australia) wins the 2009 World Championship Road Race.

Cadel Evans (Australia) wins the 2009 World Championship Road Race.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Olympic Games is all about medals, and when it comes to the lottery of a professional road race, almost any colour will do. Heading into Saturday's men's road race Australia look set to cover all bases, with a line-up combining speed and aggression.

Packed with experience - four of their five started the men's road race in Beijing four years ago - the team are capable of packing a complete punch with Matthew Goss their sprinting card, while his teammates comprise of former world champions and Tour de France stage winners.

Matt White, who oversaw a silver medal for the team in Copenhagen's Worlds last year, has changed hats, sidelining his seat in the GreenEdge car for another stint of national service. The former pro, who was in London for the Olympic test event last summer believes that few teams will dedicate their recourses to a sprint.

"The different thing about this Olympic Games compared to a typical world championships is that the race will be won and lost between 80 kilometres to go and 50 kilometres to go. Because the last lap is so far from the finish I think there's going to be lot more action before the finish," team director Matt White told Cyclingnews.

"There aren't too many countries that will be interested in a bunch sprint. There's the Australians the Germans and the Brits, and there's the one man Slovakian show as well. Most of the traditional cycling nations don't want a sprint because they've got very limited chances of a medal. I expect the race to be aggressive early; otherwise it just plays into the hands of the Pomms."

White believes that the British team are unlikely to place a rider in the break, ensuring that Cavendish has four riders at his disposal for as long as possible in the race.

"I don't want go into too much detail but we've got a team that can afford to be aggressive. If it doesn't work out then we've always got Gossy for the sprint, we can work both ways. We'll be aggressive so I won't be concerned if one of our guys is going to the finish in a breakaway. They're all guys who know how to race and know how to win bikes races. We can play a lot of cards."